Lumix 12-35 G X Vario F2.8 OIS Lens Review

I spent two hours at The Mission San Diego to get a few test shots with the new Lumix 12-35. I just reviewed some of the footage and I’m pleased with the performance so far. I had a couple issues with shooting indoors so I wanted to try it outside in different  lighting conditions. The color rendition is very nice with this new Lumix. I did use a polarizer because well you kind of have to if your shooting outside in bright sun. Here are a few frame grabs from Premiere Pro CS6. I love that feature! These are all ungraded. and the camera was on a slider with a little breeze going on so take that in consideration for sharpness. I shot in 24p with the shutter set to 60.

To view larger click on image.

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Sharpness in the video is very nice even wide open. This is going to be a great interview lens. Reframing with no effect on exposure is a big plus with the constant f2.8 aperture. At 70mm the shallow DOF will look fantastic. The color is really nice and my profile isn’t very saturated. Working with the native controls was easy and convenient. I didn’t test push to focus and I’m kind of bummed that I didn’t. I like this feature a lot on the AF-100 with other Lumix lenses and I did use it on another shoot so It does work well. Faster focus that my two Lumix pancake lenses, however when I did use it it was on a persons face and not a lot of background to deal with. The lens to the best I could tell is parfocal. I did a couple wides then tights and the lens seems to hold the focus. It does make some sounds inside the barrel and I’m not sure if it’s the motor for the zoom or another focus motor keeping the lens in focus. I need to figure this out. Manual zooming isn’t that easy and would take some time to master if your using the zoom while rolling. I tried the lens with a follow focus and that helps for zooming as well as focusing but since the focus isn’t repeatable that does limit its usability.

I tested the lens for holding focus while doing a slow push. The focus is holding but I see an exposure stutter or flicker. I shot a test to show the flicker below.

This is disappointing since I do like to do very slow pushes or pulls on static subjects. Not sure what it is. It looks like the electronics are adjusting the exposure to keep the constant iris. This makes servo style shooting not usable but quick focal changes are doable without refocusing. Maybe a firmware update could fix this or it’s just designed that way. Panasonic hasn’t claimed that this lens is a servo or par focal lens so I guess it’s not a non-functioning feature.

Iris control with the AF-100 works very well. It responds quicker than the other Lumix lenses I have. The build is solid with metal barrel and mount. Its light at 10.76oz in weight but doesn’t feel cheap. This is a very solid lens. I don’t shoot in wet weather often but having a lens with weather sealing is an added plus. OIS is also a nice feature for stills as well as video. It’s very subtle for video so don’t think it will be a SteadyCam.

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Panasonic Lumix G X 12-35 f2.8

Panasonic Lumix G X 12-35 f2.8

Official specifications from Panasonic.

Maximum format size Four Thirds
Focal length 12-35mm
35mm equivalent focal length 24-70mm
Diagonal angle of view 84° – 34°
Maximum aperture F2.8
Minimum aperture F22
Lens Construction • 14 elements in 9 groups
• 4 aspherical elements
• 1 UED element
• 1 UHR element
Number of diaphragm blades 7, rounded
Minimum focus • 0.25m / 0.82ft
Maximum magnification • Approx. 0.17x (0.34x 35mm-equivalent)
AF motor type • Linear Stepper Motor
Focus method Internal
Zoom method Extending front
Image stabilization • Power OIS
Filter thread • 58mm
• Does not rotate on focus
Supplied accessories* • Front and rear caps
• H-HS12035 Lens hood
• Lens storage bag
Weight 305g (10.8 oz)
Dimensions 67.6mm diameter x 73.8mm length
(2.7 x 2.9 in)
Lens Mount Micro Four Thirds

The only real bummer with the Lumix 12-35 is the price. It’s a whopper! Retails for $1299.00. This is Panasonic’s “L” class lens. Optically it’s a big winner and I can only hope we will see a 35-100 f2.8 with the same high end features soon. Well maybe not to soon because I need to save up!

What do you think? Is this the lens you’ve been waiting for?

Cheers!

Comments (6)

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  1. Nelson says:

    I think only the 35-100mm doesn’t flick when you zoom?

  2. Hey Erik! I’m thinking about to get one of these lenses but i already have the 14-42mm which has serious “autofocus breathing problems” yeah i know… but i need this camera for weeding some times autofocus it’s necessary for me, so i want to know if this 12-35mm has those “autofocus breathing”

    I’m sure you don’t use this future but if you can test it for me you could be a a life saver, lens it’s a bit expensive and i would like to be sure before to get it.

    Thx a lot Erik, keep the good job ;)

    René

    • Erik Naso says:

      I dont know what AF breathing is exactly. While zooming you get iris flicker. If you’re refering to focus hunting it’s not bad if the target is big enough to lock into it.

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